Calling Mid West’s brightest to get creative at GovHack

Pollinators is calling on the Mid West’s brightest to get creative with government data during GovHack, in Geraldton from July 29 to 31.

The GovHack competition is about encouraging and celebrating our technical and creative capacity, connecting citizens with government, and building on the social and economic value of open data published by government.

Put simply, it’s like a fun (digital) recycling project, making beautiful and useful things out of undervalued spreadsheets or datasets rather than spare parts from the tip.

Competition categories will be announced at 7pm on Friday July 29 at Pollinators’ CityHive, with teams given 46 hours to create a project page, proof of concept and a video that tells the story of how government data can be reused.

Pollinators will also hold a pre-event briefing at CityHive on Thursday July 14 at 5.30pm to provide more information. RSVP here.

Previous years’ GovHack entries from across Australia and New Zealand have included art, jewellery, a digital sign, a board game, historic film pieces, a virtual reality game,  a 3d model, a visualisation of data, an informed article and web apps.

Pollinators’ Learning Lead Andrew Outhwaite said GovHack attracts many different types of entrant, each bringing their own creative thought processes to the competition, and including entrepreneurs, developers, data analysts, engineers, designers, digital media creators, artists, film makers, story tellers, civic activists and academics.

Mr Outhwaite urged any interested people – young and old – to attend the preview night on July 14 or the opening night on July 29 at 7pm to find out how they can be involved. For example:

  • Teams– participants who would be willing to apply their talents to government data – visualising it, re-representing it, analysing it,
  • Agencies– government agencies willing to share data, challenges, staff to assist with explanation and perhaps sponsorship for prizes,
  • Sponsors– able to pay for venue, catering, coordination, prizes and other costs to keep the Geraldton node free for participants,
  • Volunteers– whether you’re a mentor, designer, caterer, artist or entrepreneur or IT professional there’s a role you could play.

“GovHack is a challenging, but fun-filled way, for people to stretch their imagination to come up with innovative new ways of using government data. There’s real magic that happens when people with diverse skills and backgrounds collaborate on making things happen,” Mr Outhwaite said.

“Rather than think ‘someone should …’ this is an opportunity to say ‘let’s do …’ and collaborate to take things like statistics on fish catches, beach width measurements, business startups or archives of historical photos and turn into something useful for you, industry or the community.

GovGovHack Geraldton is supported by Mid West Development Commission (MWDC), through its Innovation Agenda and commitment to growing a Culture of Innovation, as well as the Mid West’s science engagement group Scinapse, Pollinators and GovHack.

For more information visit the GovHack website at

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